HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) -
3:54 p.m. - Outside the courtroom, Troy Brake'ssister told 24 Hour News 8 that there's no way her brother couldhave murdered four people.
"It's a horrible tragedy," Brenda Brake said of the quadruplehomicide. She added the Troy Brake she knows could not havecommitted such a crime.
Brenda Brake spoke to reporters after a judge adjourned therest of her brother's preliminary hearing until December 4.
3:40 p.m. - The preliminary hearing for Troy Brakeon four murder charges adjourned after five witnesses and willreconvene December 4.
3:28 p.m. - The Ottawa County Prosecutor isaccusing Troy Brake's girlfriend of changing her story multipletimes on the stand. While questioning Troy Brake's girlfriend,Tarah Van Dyke, Prosecutor Ron Franz pointed out that her testimonydiffers from what she first told detectives on at least fivepoints.
Franz accused Van Dyke of changing the time Brake got homethe night of the quadruple homicide. Van Dyke testified Tuesdayafternoon that Brake got home at 11:30pm the night of the fire.Franz says she told police Brake arrived hom between 12:30am and1:30am. The victims' neighbor first noticed smoke coming from theburning home at 12:35am.
Franz also said Van Dyke told detectives she had an argumentwith Brake that night and noticed that he smelled like smoke andhad been drinking. On the stand, she said she couldn't remembersaying he had been drinking that night. She also testified thatBrake always smells like smoke because they burn trash.
Franz reminded Van Dyke several times that her initialinterview with police is on tape.
3:22 p.m. - Tarah Van Dyke, Troy Brake'sgirlfriend, took the stand. She testified on that Sunday she beganwork at 5pm at Andrea's in Grant. She returned home around 9:30p.m. and said Brake was home, but had plans to go to his friendDanny Butts' house.
3:09 p.m. - Robert Zimmer, Jr., whose mom and twobrothers were among the victims in a quadruple homicide, testifiedhe was not aware of Troy Brake having any violent tendencies.
Zimmer testified that Brake, who once lived next door to thevictims, had actually moved in with them for a short time to finishout a school year. Upon questioning from the defense attorney,Zimmer told the court that he did not know of his family having anyproblems with Brake. He also said he never had any concerns aboutBrake's temperament.
Zimmer earlier testified that his mom had been receivingstrange and harassing calls at work and home. He said he had noreason to believe that the calls came from Troy Brake.
3:07 p.m. - The third witness on the stand isRobert Zimmer Jr., the son and brother of three of the victims. Hesaid he went to his mom's home to pick up a can of soup hoursbefore his family members were killed. He testified that Troy Brakeused to be his next door neighbor when he lived at the Zimmerhome.
Under cross-examination, Robert testified Tyler and JeremyZimmer had drug and alcohol issues.
2:50 p.m. - Deputies found the Zimmer family dogdead inside a closet in the home. That testimony came from anOttawa County Sheriff's Detective, the second person to take thestand in Troy Brake's preliminary hearing. The detective told thecourt that the dog was found in a closet in a second floor bedroom,near the body of Jeremy Zimmer.
Detective McCarthy also testified that he first recognizedthe victims died by gunfire when he spotted a through-and-throughbullet wound to Jeremy Zimmer's head.
McCarthy also told the court that the fire was intentionallyset. He said there were two points of origin, one in a second floorbedroom and another on the living room couch.
2:41 p.m. -- An Ottawa County Sheriff's Detectivetold the court that Katherine Brown's body was laying on thelanding of the stairway leading from the family room to the home'ssecond floor. Tyler Zimmer was found lying on his back in thebasement laundry room. The detective later discovered the body ofSharmaine Zimmer in the main floor living room. Jeremy Zimmer wasfound on the floor of an upstairs bedroom.
On the stand in Troy Brake's preliminary hearing, a detectivewho specializes in arson investigations, testified he found noevidence of forced entry at the victims' home.
2:36 p.m. - Trout testified the Zimmers had a lotof parties. She was followed to the stand by Detective McCarthy ofthe Ottawa County Sheriff's Department . He's a fire expert andlearned there were four victims in the burned home.
2:18 p.m. - Heather Trout, who lives next door tothe home where four people were shot and killed, is the firstwitness to take the stand in the Troy Brake hearing.
Trout testified it was 12:35 a.m. when she happened to walkpast her family room window. What she saw caused her to do a doubletake - smoke coming from her neighbor's home. She then heard acrackling noise and ran to call 9-1-1. By the time she returned tothe window with phone to her ear, she could see flames inside thehome.
"I was freaking out. I grabbed my kids from the upstairs.Grabbed my cell phone. Called my husband and told him I wasevacuating the house in case anything exploded," testified Trout.
She later testfied she heard no sounds coming from the home."I ripped open my living room window. I yelled 'Hey the house is onfire. Get out.' And there was no response."
Troy Brake, charged with killing four peopleinside a Wright Township home in late September, is in court forhis preliminary examination.
This hearing is to determine if there is enough evidence to sendBrake to trial on murder charges. He's accused in the deaths ofShar Zimmer, her sons Jeremy and Tyler, and Jeremy's girlfriendKatherine Brown.
The Zimmers were shot to death, Brown was beaten to death. Theirhome was set on fire after they were killed.
24 Hour News 8 will be in the courtroom and will have updates asthey happen online at woodtv.com
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